A rare weekend off has given Eddie Howe and his Newcastle some much-needed reprieve after injuries and losses built up over the course of December.
Just three wins since the start of December and a total of just six points from a possible 24, along with exits in Europe and the League Cup has put the season at risk.
To compound the poor run of form, it’s likely that Joelinton will not return this season following a thigh injury which needs surgery.
This has led to speculation surrounding the Brazilian and his future with a contract stand-off suggesting he’s played his last game at St James’ Park.
The 27-year-old has just 18 months left on his contract and there’s a possibility mounting that he could be sold before he plays again.
This, according to the Daily Mail is because he’s one of the club’s highest-earning players with the midfielders wage demands far beyond what the club are willing to pay.
Joelinton was signed as a striker back in 2019 from Hoffenheim for £40m, signing a six-year deal before Eddie Howe refined his game, turning him into a combative, all-action midfielder.
According to the same report, Howe is keen to keep Joelinton but understands that if no compromise is agreed, it’s likely the Brazilian and fan favourite will depart the northeast.
Replacing the Brazilian
Finding a midfielder who can have the impact that Joelinton has had will be hard. However, with more financial power and a greater potential for identifying talent around the world, it’s likely Newcastle won’t find that difficult.
However, there are still FFP factors that will play into the thinking of Newcastle, which will undoubtedly restrict the pursuit of new recruits.
Mail Sport has suggested Phillip Billing could be an option for the Magpies, who Howe signed for the Cherries in 2019. The Dane has been excellent since Bournemouth were promoted to the Premier League and would certainly fill the void.
Kalvin Phillips continues to be linked with a move, however a lack of game time and the overall cost of a move is unsurprisingly putting Newcastle off from committing to the investment.
With Newcastle’s poor injury record this season, and the need to replace a huge midfielder in Joelinton, signing someone who has not played enough minutes presents a huge risk.